We are home -- Oct 12

You are no longer foreigners... but members of God's household. Ephesians 2:19

Most of four months we were on sabbatical we felt like foreigners. Street signs and menus in different languages, finding out where to buy bus tickets, adjusting our meals to fit the local customs, decifering the meaning of words spoken in English but carrying a different meaning.

There were times when we were welcomed into a home, a restaurant, a bed and breakfast and no longer felt like strangers, we felt like we belonged. Other times we felt out of the conversation, not really apart, not understanding what was going on, on the outside.

To be a foreigner (xenos in Greek) in bible times was to be an outsider. Some outsiders were separated out (gentiles), despised (ie, samaritans) and others feared (babylonians). In the temple there was a court designated for the gentiles. They couldn't get as close to the Holy of Holies as the female jews (close) or the male jews (closer) or the priests (closest). Jesus turns over the tables in the temple because the court of the gentiles had been turned into a marketplace and it kept those who were on the outside even farther away from worshipping the one, true God.

But Paul says in Christ we are no longer strangers or foreigners. "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near..." (Ephesians 2:13) and (we) the whole building (not just Jews, but also Gentiles) is "joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord." (Ephesians 2:21)

As the church we belong to God and to each other. We are home.

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